Hacker Gets Xbox One Controller Working on PC

Is this the beginning of the end for that trusty old mainstay of PC gaming, the Xbox 360 controller?

News by Pete Davison, .

For many years, PC gamers looked down on gamepads, instead preferring to use either keyboard and mouse or, in special circumstances such as flight sims, distinctly phallic joysticks covered with more buttons than you have fingers.

Then the Xbox 360 controller came along, and PC gamers discovered that yes, some games did indeed play a lot better with gamepads. Platform games, for example. Or shoot 'em ups. Or fighting games.

Today, the Xbox 360 controller is the de facto standard for non-keyboard-and-mouse control schemes on Windows computers. There are still a few awkward little indie games out there -- particularly those from Japan -- that steadfastly refuse to directly support Microsoft's distinctive, colorful buttons, but for the most part, the Xbox 360's controller belongs as much to PC gamers as it does to console enthusiasts.

But what happens now we're moving into a new generation of consoles? Is the Xbox 360 controller going to be left behind? Well, probably not just yet; the Xbox One isn't even out yet, for starters, and there's been no sign of an official Windows driver for its rather pleasant controller so far. There'll supposedly be one next year, but in the meantime one self-professed hobbyist hacker and "breaker of things" Chris Gallizzi has been trying his best to get the new controller at least recognized by his PC -- and, if this Vine video is anything to go by, he's making good progress.

So far, Gallizzi has managed to get Windows to recognize the controller as a human interface device (HID) controller and for the analog sticks to work in a few games such as Hotline Miami and Amnesia. Buttons aren't working just yet, though, and the more advanced features of the controller such as force feedback in the triggers will require some additional work -- not to mention games actually supporting said features in the first place. Still, it's a start -- and even if the fancy features never get supported, the fact you'll be able to enjoy the good design and comfort of the Xbox One controller on your PC is nothing to be sniffed at.

Gallizzi isn't ready to release a driver just yet, but when there's more functionality in place you can expect to find it available for free download from Sourceforge or GitHub. In the meantime, stay up to date with Gallizzi's progress via Twitter.

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